Auckland Transport have started enabling works for the new $26 million Manukau Bus Station. Actual construction of the station will begin in August and once completed in late 2017 will be a key link in the new bus network for South Auckland. The bus station is across the road from the new train station.

Manukau Bus Station 1

Manukau is a step closer to getting a bus and train transport hub which will make it easier for people to connect between high frequency trains and buses.

Work has started today on the construction of the new Manukau Bus Station, which when completed will be at the heart of a new public transport network for south Auckland. The new connected network is due for implementation in late 2016.

Auckland Transport also released new design images of the station.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Mayor Len Brown and Otara-Papatoetoe Chair Fa’anānā Efeso Collins marked the start of construction works with the turning of the first sods.


Auckland Transport Metro General Manager Mark Lambert says the new bus station will be located right next to Manukau train station and that the Manukau civic offices car park on Putney Way (between Davies Avenue and Osterley Way) will be transformed into a bus station. The train and bus stations will be linked by a covered walkway.

“The 23-bay bus station will be constructed right next to the existing Manukau Train Station with all the amenities of a modern station – a ticket office, customer service area, a large passenger waiting area, convenience kiosks, a drop and ride area, 24-hour security and toilets. It will be pedestrian friendly and be accessible for everyone.

“The public transport hub at Manukau will provide better connections to the places Aucklanders want to go. It will help to reduce reliance on private transport and ease congestion on local and arterial roads.”

With services from all over South Auckland when the new network is rolled out later this year the station will be very busy – they’ll use temporary stops until the bus station is completed.

New Network - South Auckland

Here are what AT say the features and benefits of the station are:

  • 23-bay bus station right next to the existing Manukau train station.
  • 21 sawtooth bays and 2 parallel bays (for additional capacity).
  • Built on the site of the Civic Building car park, on Putney Way (between Davies Avenue and Osterley Way).
  • Universally accessible.
  • Bike parking racks, taxi parking and drop-and-ride area.
  • Convenience kiosks, AT Metro customer service and ticket office.
  • 24-hour security, help points and CCTV.
  • Real time passenger information.
  • Waiting lounge, toilets, and bus staff office facilities.
  • Supporting the increased volume and movement of buses to and from Manukau and the wider network.
  • Provides a key regional bus destination, eg those currently using Leyton Way at Westfield, and will allow people to transfer to regional bus services.

And here’s what the inside of the station is should look like. I’m sure it will be a nice place to wait for a bus but hopefully improved frequencies will see the need to wait long reduced, especially with all of those ghosts hanging around.

Manukau Bus Station 2

Manukau Bus Station 4

The consultation feedback report says that the most requested improvement was for cycling and in particular on how people get to the station as currently there are no dedicated cycling facilities proposed. They say that this sits outside of the scope of this project and that the feedback has been passed to the walking and cycling team however given how busy they are with all of the urban cycleway fund projects it doesn’t seem like something that will happen any time soon.

The station uses a sawtooth design which we’ve questioned in the past. AT say that up to 15 routes will use the station and with the majority of routes starting or ending here the use of the sawtooth design allows them to maximise the use of the space. It’s also a much better use of the space than the carpark that’s on the site currently.

Manukau Bus Station 3

One aspect I do wonder about is whether they should have designed it to allow a future development on top of the station. As the concept image below shows, if Manukau develops as planned this could end up as one of the lowest rise buildings in the area. This is looking south east.

Manukau - Future Development 2

Despite some areas where it could be better, overall the project does look good and should be a good addition to Manukau and the public transport network.

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  1. Interesting comments by Bob Dey on this that Manukau is still not a place to walk around. This station I guess is trying to change this. He also notes the outlook from those office buildings on to a bus terminal isnt that great.

    1. Yeah, I found Bob’s comments interesting too. See, and some musings in the script of his newsletter this morning.
      “Auckland Transport & the government transport agency said the Manukau bus & train hub would make it easier for people to connect between high frequency trains & buse, which would run every 15 minutes from 7am-7pm, 7 days/week. In my definition that’s a transfer station; a hub has more going for it, businesses upstairs that are destinations, residents in close proximity (there are some now at M Central, across the street from the new bus station), hospitality outlets along the street frontages that invite people to linger”.

    2. Bob was not being that kind towards Auckland Transport at all.
      He like myself ( ) are wondering if this Interchange and a single land use project at that was the best starting point in kick starting Manukau’s transform agenda (that Panuku will guide through).

      I think the problem is the project was silo-ed typical Auckland Transport style. There was no effort to go for full integrated planning including mixed commercial and residential use above the Interchange and linking that interchange up with cycle lanes and bus lanes (see the consultation report embedded in my post linked above).

      For $26m this project seems a complete waste to what we could do. If AT could no line up the cycle lanes, the bus lanes to Manukau, and a mixed used development over the Interchange then the project should stop until done so. The existing stops over by Westfield will do for now as they have done.

      Big fail on Auckland Transport for going ahead when the consultation report said NO.

      1. As I elude to in the comments below, its an absolute shame this project was delivered at a cost to rate/tax payers at all. This is the kind of site where Council (via ACPL/ Panuku) would have greatly benefited from partnering with the private sector to deliver a mixed-use scheme over the bus station. Why pay 26 million for something that could have likely generated a return? With all the issues about transport funding, AT (and Council) should be looking to maximise the commercial returns in the development of transport infrastructure where they dont have a detrimental effect on its operation.
        It also presents a current flaw in Section 8 of the RMA as requiring authorities are unlikely to be empowered to provide integrated commercial/ residential development on residual land arising from the development of infrastructure.

        1. Something Section 8 can be rectified with the new National Policy Statement – urban development paper being written (Hopefully).

          I raised the issue you mentioned to both Council and Panuku. Result? No appetite to do it like the USA often does.

          Meaning? Same old tired mediocrity Auckland is use to and look what we got in Manukau…

  2. Really? That building willbe a great addition to Manukau. Its a shame users will have to look at the eyesore buildings surrounding it!!

    1. Better than looking at a crummy car-park. Of course, all this doesn’t get away from the fact that the train station should have been on this site in the first place!

  3. Wow. Cycling facilities are “outside of the scope of this project”? That is extremely shortsighted and a poor excuse. This stage of the planning is exactly when cycling should be integrated, not as an afterthought. Bike access would allow so many people to access the station more quickly and safely (especially at night) than walking – imagine a 2 minute cycle from station to home, rather than a 15 minute walk alone in the dark. I know which one I would choose (expecially being a woman). A well supervised bike ‘park-and-ride’ system (to minimise bike theft), as seen in the Netherlands, Japan, etc, would be a game changer for so many people. A few measly unsupervised bike racks just won’t be enough…

    1. Yeah, that worries me as well. I assume those bays are for those couple of routes that don’t terminate there, the 33 and 361? Given that the former is one of the two frequent network routes touching Manukau, it’ll presumably get a lot of people needing to transfer between it and the sawtooth bays.

      It also seems surprising that the sawtooth approach would actually produce significantly more bays than parallel platforms, given how gigantic an area they need to reverse out.

      1. Utilising Putney Way, as well as a new bus mall would have enabled plenty of stops. Could have built the station facilities as part of a ‘base’ for a higher building and enabled a nice walkable block.

  4. I’m really disappointed that this valuable real estate will only be a 1-level building. They should have at least future proof it so that future development above is possible.

    1. The “future proofing” is that it will be easy to demolish when they finally extend the railway line down Te Iririangi Dr to Botany.

      1. I’m hoping for future underground rail lines like what they have overseas rather than on-land rail. This would be more beneficial (although more costly) to Auckland. Due to Auckland geography, we need all the land we can get to build houses on. So underground transport would help.

          1. These are the dreams that could shape future reality. Keep dreaming guys. Far better than the motorway dreams of S. Joyce & Co which have become present-day nightmares.

  5. They should at least future proof the site foundation to allow building up in the future without having to demolish the building again.

    1. An obvious example would be Bondi Junction in Sydney. Major bus interchange (with rail) at the bottom of the massive Westfield shopping center.

  6. “The station uses a sawtooth design which we’ve questioned in the past. AT say that up to 15 routes will use the station and with the majority of routes starting or ending here the use of the sawtooth design allows them to maximise the use of the space. It’s also a much better use of the space than the carpark that’s on the site currently.”

    Saw tooth is for intercity/long distance services and shouldn’t be used for urban bus services.
    It is slow and dangerous with frequent reversing.
    Parallel platforms make the most sense.

    1. The sawtooth design is supposed to work as the majority of the buses terminate at the station using the new network, From what I understand only 2 bus routes don’t terminate here,

    2. Sawtooth design can work on urban services if it is implemented correctly as has been done in Christchurch. I can’t see any of these design elements here, including
      1. Passengers kept separate from the bus movement/reversing areas.
      2. Efficient movement of passengers onto/off buses and between buses.
      In Christchurch the terminal is designed so that passengers go directly from the bus to the terminal and vice-versa. They do not go outside and therefore are kept away from the bus movements. In the Manakau design, there is nothing like this – they haven’t even got the sawtooth parking the right way around, so passengers can move around freely outside. Some of the bus stands are opposite the sawtooth, so it would encourage passengers to walk across this area.
      In my view some design changes need to be made before construction starts to make it safe.

  7. This will mean a significant improvement for Manukau and it’s a welcome addition to the urban landscape.

    However, it is astounding that in 2016 a major transport building is being constructed with cycling as an afterthought. I hope this shortcoming can be rectified in the next few years.

  8. Well this include the long distance buses (Manabus, InterCity) as there is not many toilet options outside the Mall hours except McDonalds.

    1. Highly likely yes. Also heard somewhere that AT is planning on terminating some regional buses here during rush hours and forcing everyone to transfer via train to get to the city, which would be much quicker than trudging through the traffic.

      1. No buses will go from Manukau to the CBD, so that won’t be happening. The entire network is being redesigned to leverage off of the capacity of rail.

          1. Thats only during Peak Times @Mike.
            I presume that will be stopping in Custom St a mere walking distance from Britomart?
            Correct me if I’m wrong, but isnt the Manukau – City route pretty useless?

          2. Something which still surprises me every time I look up PT routes to the south, is that trains are not much faster than buses.

            From the south, if you are going to mid town rather than Britomart, then it appears the bus will be significantly faster than the train because you don’t to a detour via Britomart.

          3. That’s interesting re: midtown being faster by bus. It’ll be a temporary situation that will end when Aotea is operational though I’m guessing.

          4. Well actual bus trips are subject to congestion so that is uncertain, but there are a good five plus minutes to be recovered on all train lines once the dozy dwell times are addressed. So once the later is fixed, and as traffic congestion increases with the growing population and ultimately as train frequencies and reliability improves post CRL, the advantage of the rail RoW will be realised in practice.

  9. Commercial and residential development above could probably have paid for the bus station alone, a cost neutral development at a minimum and a potential profit to Council all going well. Where were ACPL in the development of this? Seems like a no-brainer and a much more efficient use of Council land and money.

    1. Good point. We should really start learning from this model of transit hardware construction being subsidised by surrounding commercial development.

  10. The network map shows routes from MAnukau fairly evenly balanced to all points of the compass. Why would you want most routes to terminate? Surely through-routing as far as possible would be most efficient – both for bus operations, and to maximise one-seat travel for those who happen to be travelling *through* Manukau.

    And in that case, sawtooth bays are silly.

  11. It looks like the toilets are single cubicles which seems a bit odd for a busy public space like this. I would have thought that gendered bathrooms with some urinals in the men’s would be more space efficient and also user efficient.

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